Best foam roller for your muscle aches and pain

Foam rollers are used quite often for rehabilitation. The foam roller is a relatively new massage technique that is rapidly gaining popularity. They are quite often used for trigger point therapy. Since they are relatively inexpensive, vary widely in design, length, and hardness, it’s no wonder this tool is the go-to self-massager for a multitude of needs and recommended by trainers and physiotherapists.

If you are looking for an appropriate foam roller for self-massage, this is the right place to be. Read on to learn more about which foam roller is best for you.

Benefits of foam rolling

Foam rollers are frequently seen used in gyms, chiropractor offices, and runners. They ensure good muscle recovery and trigger point release. Foam rollers are typically seen to be used for back pain and legs. By rolling your arm, back, or legs, you can increase the range of motion and greatly enhance blood circulation flow, while getting a solid workout for your core muscles. Stiff and tight muscles beware!

According to a study by the University of Rhode Island, foam rolling produces less fatigue than other methods of self massaging post-workout. Two other studies concluded foam rolling produces less pain to muscles and more power during sprinting. A Canadian study suggests foam rolling improves jumping ability, because of increased greater range of motion.

As a warm-up or post-workout stretch, rolling your muscles and holding still in sore areas puts pressure on blood vessels. When you release, blood circulation and oxygen increases in the target muscle area. Feel better sooner than later. Many athletes and experienced trainers, as well as physiotherapists recommend foam roller as part of a collection of self-massage tools to use.

If you have stiff muscles, muscle knots, nagging, aching pain, foam rollers are definitely recommend to be added into your self-massager arsenal. If you are looking for training your core muscles and stability (say, to improve your posture), then foam rollers are recommended as well. Especially great for body builders who are hitting the gym hard and runners pre- and post-running sessions.

Foam rollers vs. regular massages

Quite often we’re asked which of the two are better. Really, nothing compares to a hand massage from a licensed massage therapist. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford 30 or 60-minute massages (not including tips). For a price of $30-$60, you can self-massage at home, or right after your workout at the gym. (There are foam rollers that can easily fit into your gym bag and locker!)

How to use the foam roller?

Foam rollers are great for stretching, knee pain, back pain, and as part of a workout routine. You can get started easily by place your foam roller on the floor and hopping on.

Position your target muscle group on the foam roller. With support of your arms and/or legs, lower yourself further and gently apply the pressure with your body weight. Roll until you find an area where it hurts mildly. When you do find the pained area, hold your position for around 30 seconds. Then release and continue adjusting slightly, and hold for another 30 seconds on the next sensitive area.

Keep in mind to relax your muscle despite the pain and discomfort of holding yourself up and applying pressure to target areas. Compared to other handheld massage tools, foam rolling does pose its own challenge as you have to adjust your full body and use your own weight to apply pressure.

If it hurts too much, consider getting a softer foam roller (less dense) or apply pressure around the painful area instead of directly to.

It won’t be easy, and it will be uncomfortable at first. It may take some time to learn and adjust to this method of massaging while on the floor. Once you get it, will be a breeze. Post-exercise, if you are stretching on the floor, the foam roller will compliment you being on the floor.

Which type of foam roller is best for me to buy?

There are hard tubes, soft, grid and spike designs. If you are starting out and searching for your own foam roller, consider testing the ones that might be available at your gym. Otherwise, order a softer-than-you-believe-you-need foam roller and focus on practicing the massage technique. When you’re comfortable, or if the foam roller is not dense enough, then you can order a tougher one.

If you buy a softer one, then upgrade, you will have the option of switching between the high density and soft foam rollers depending on the type of pain or training routine you set in place. 🙂

Best Foam Rollers

PreviewMassagerRatingPriceLearn More
grid-revolutionary-foam-roller-thumbnail2TPP GRID FOAM ROLLER
Less foam, more pressure
5/5$$$Check it out on Amazon
Tried and tested
4.5/5$$Check it out on Amazon
Conquer your muscle knot enemies
4.5/5$$$Check it out on Amazon

1. TPP Grid Foam Roller

Textured Foam Roller

The TriggerPoint GRID foam roller is for anybody who wants to move better. Use the GRID to roll through tight muscles, knots and kinks to reduce soreness and improve mobility.

Check it out on Amazon

What others are saying

I've used other foam rollers and this is by far the best. The traditional solid-foam rollers only last a short period before they become crushed and ineffective. The GRID provides a better and deeper massage due to its unique design of foam wrapped around a hard plastic core. I've had mine for over a year now; I use it almost every day and it has held up perfectly.
- Brian Pike5-star-rating-small1

Holy crap is this thing awesome. I've had foam rollers before, eventually they all wear out in the middle and are kind of useless. I bought this to alleviate that problem. For the price of two average rollers the same size, you get something that will outlast ten or more.
- Amazonian 5-star-rating-small1

A little expensive for what it is, but a great product. Bought this for my husband to roll out his back after work (he works at a moving company) and he loves it.
- Jennifer L. Obrien "Jenn O'Brien"4-star-rating-small

Durable and Functional Construction

Unlike traditional foam rollers, which can lose shape and functionality over time, TriggerPoint GRID rollers are designed to withstand repeated use while maintaining shape and integrity. The GRID is durable because it is constructed with dense EVA foam covering a rigid, hollow plastic core insert.


  • 1 year warranty
  • Constructed with less foam than traditional foam rollers
  • Designed to withstand constant, heavy, and repeated use without breaking down
  • Only 13" long by 5" in diameter - makes it an excellent travel companion
  • Unique Distrodensity Zone design allows for targeted massage


2. PER High Density Foam Roller

High Density Foam Rollers

Expanded Polyethylene (EPE) foam roller is excellent for relieving aching muscles before, during, or after workouts. Use your own body weight to help increase blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.

Check it out on Amazon

What others are saying

Overall this is a great product: No odor at all from the foam, It is very firm and you can be confident it will not lose its shape, and feels great as you give yourself a massage with it.
- Anthony Garduno5-star-rating-small1

I bought this after my trainer recommended it. I originally bought one with grooves/nubs on it and found it to be a little intense if I was sore from a workout. I like this smooth version much better. It's very light weight, but still really sturdy.

- cassie4-star-rating-small

The product itself works and is a lot cheaper than a myofascial release massage, although much more painful. I used it in conjunction with a massage therapist and he couldn't believe how much my IT band had improved. This product will get the job done.
- runningirl5-star-rating-small1


Sturdy and Great Price

Target multiple trigger points to perform self-myofascial release to improve springiness and range of motion, and shrink pain and soreness. PER'S EPE foam is a high quality material with 1.9 pound per cubic foot density and made in the U.S.A. It will not breakdown or lose its shape after moderate to heavy use.


  • Molded EPE foam roller has a 1.9 lbs. per cubic foot density
  • Great for targeting specific muscles for self-myofascial release to ease aching muscles
  • Great for balance, flexibility, and strengthening exercises
  • Will not lose its shape after moderate to heavy use and easy to clean
  • Made in the U.S.A.

3. 321 Strong Foam Roller

Matrix Foam Roller

The 321 Strong Roller Manipulates Soft Tissue like a massage therapist to relax stiff muscles, break down scar tissue and improve your range of motion quickly & effectively. The Flexible Foam Nodules and Matrix Design helps you control the pressure & get the massage you need, where you need it.

Check it out on Amazon

What others are saying



Compact and Lightweight

Its compact size allows you to work smaller regions & isolate specific muscle groups. The 321 roller's hollow core ensures it is lightweight & easily portable allowing you to get you massage in anywhere you need it.


  • Free bonus new year workout and recipe ebook
  • Perfect for self myofascial release for all sports enthusiasts
  • Lightweight and portable with hollow core
  • Money back guarantee if there is an issue with your product for any reason